Shopping around and the Government Procurement
I was sent this article from a teacher in Galway yesterday who asked me to share it on Anseo.net. He wanted to point out (which he does below) that he is not affiliated with any company in particular. This article is about an experience he had when ordering printing cartridges and the amount of money he was able to save by shopping around. Enjoy the article!
Yesterday I ordered some ink cartridges from Datapac, once again on the assumption that I was getting a competitive price given that Datapac was awarded the Government Procurement contract based on “its proven ability to deliver a seamless customer experience and sustainable cost savings across a vast range of ICT consumable products” (Datapac website). http://www.datapac.com/
The invoice for my four regular CANON CLI-551 cartridges seemed a little on the high side at €75.35. I checked a few online alternatives and found that I could purchase the same original Canon pack on inkmaestro.ie for €40.45 (including delivery). I have no affiliation with inkmaestro.ie whatsoever but decided to compare other orders I had placed with Datapac. With some products there was little difference in price. The Kyocera TK-410 black photocopier toner is just under €1 cheaper but the Kyocera TK-1130 was €90.31 with Datapac and just €70.50 (incl. VAT) with inkmaestro.ie. My last order of Canon PGI-9 cartridges and the aforementioned Kyocera toners totalled €551.53 with Datapac. With inkmaestro.ie, which is also an Irish company, the total (including delivery) would have been €482.32, a saving of €69.21.
I must say that the staff at Datapac are very friendly and efficient. On querying the price difference I was told that over its total product range Datapac would work out cheaper. Over a range of 3 printers and 2 photocopiers they were significantly more expensive for us. In an era of tightening budgets I think other schools should be aware that, just as I have now learned, the company that wins the Government Procurement Contract is not necessarily the best value.